I'm taking the liberty of quoting you here, Twilight, rather than in the thread "No Creator in Buddhism", where this quote is from, because I think it is relevant to some misconceptions about "inherent existence" that have been voiced in response to the statements that negate "inherent existence", not necessarily because I think or don't think that you hold such misconceptions:
Twilight wrote:The 5 aggregates that constitute what we conventionally call "a being" exist since forever.
No one is disputing that the 5 aggregates exist, or that they constitute what is called a "being". This is a common criticism leveled at teachings that negate "inherent existence", because it is common to see these Buddhist discourses as nihilistic, or negating existence on a metaphysical level.
The aggregates, though beginingless (but not uncaused), are arisen due to causal conditions and are therefore conditioned, and being conditioned they lack "inherent existence", what they have is a dependent existence, dependent on their conditions.
Like Javi said earlier, if a given Buddhist is informed as to the Buddhavacana and does not ascribe unchanging permanence to anything other than Nibbána, then the Múlamadhyamakakáriká is an unnecessary and possibly redundant text, which merely goes over what is already in the Buddhavacana via the suttas and rearranges the material into a new presentation designed to refute unconditioned existences aside from Nibbána, which was a contemporary heresy of Nágárjuna's time, which was not believed by Buddhists before then, hence why the svabháva heresy is not explicitly mentioned or condemned in the Buddhavacana.
However if a given Buddhist subscribes unchanging permanence to anything other than Nibbána than the Múlamadhyamakakáriká is designed to refute their notions.
Basically, the entire text is an essay against hypostatization/reification/objectification
of any and all things, including Nibbána. Nibbána is uncaused, yet the conceptual framing of Nibbána as "opposite" of samsara is itself arisen via causal conditions
, specifically the causal condition of samsara itself, thus hypostatizations/"mental proliferations" of Nibbána in relation to samsara
are conditioned and are not, themselves, Nibbána. This is the context of the saying
(Mūlamadhyamakakārikā XXV, Nirvānaparīkṣā section)
There is no distinction whatsoever between saṃsāra and nirvāṇa.
There is no distinction whatsoever between nirvāṇa and saṃsāra.
What is the limit of nirvāṇa, that is the limit of saṃsāra.
There is not even the finest gap to be found between the two.
The views concerning what is beyond cessation, the end of the world, and the eternality of the world are dependent [respectively] on nirvāṇa, the future life, and the past life.
It is talking about views/hypostatizations of Nibbána. Hypostatizations of Nibbána are identical, it argues, to hypostatizations of samsara, they are both mere hypostatizations. As hypostatizations arisen via causal conditions, they are dependant on Nibbána, the uncaused/unconditioned, but those hypostatizations are themselves not unconditioned, in fact, they are implied, by Nágárjuna, to also be conditioned by pernicious self-view (What will I be in the future? What was my past self?) ("The views concerning what is beyond cessation, the end of the world, and the eternality of the world are dependent [respectively] on nirvāṇa, the future life, and the past life"). Nágárjuna labels such views as samsaric.